For a coach without a trophy, the Paris-Saint-Germain has the ideal home. Multititré, the capital club should without difficulty allow Mauricio Pochettino, who has been officially appointed Saturday, January 2, coach of PSG, writing the first lines of a list empty. In return, the charismatic Argentine will attempt to provide a strict method, more in line with the very high level.
Even if the year 2021 promises to be more hotly contested than usual in Ligue 1 before his match resumed at Saint-Etienne on 6 January, Paris has a point behind Lyon and Lille, the marriage has all the qualities to be happy.
Free since his departure from Tottenham in 2019, a few months after having reached the final of the champions League with Spurs (defeat against Liverpool), Pochettino is in the best position to understand the cruel fate of his predecessor Thomas Tuchel, thanked him in a similar situation, on the eve of Christmas. Chosen to embody the new cycle in paris, he has the stature to take on the pressure.
Even more than at Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino is confronted in Paris with a major challenge : to satisfy the ambitions of conquests and continental owners qatari ; a dream fleeing behind which are all the coaches passed by the PSG in recent years.
Despite his age (48 years), the ex-argentine international (twenty selections), it cannot be considered as a young coach. After a first experience as coach assistant of the women’s team, he endorses as from 2009, the costume, the head coach of its club of heart, Espanyol Barcelona – he has played most of his career in europe from 1994 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2006, career interspersed with a French experience of two years at PSG and six months in Bordeaux.
“As a good Argentine, he knows how to touch the heartstrings “
In Catalonia, the former central defender with long hair rubs on the loom on the bench of a club that wants to avoid relegation. This first experience of “home” is successful. Appointed as Espanyol is a red lantern, he accumulates 25 points out of 30 possible in the last ten days and gets a maintenance unexpected, renewed more calmly in the following years. “His secret was to come back our morale. In good Argentine, he knows how to motivate others, to touch the heartstrings “tells the AFP Javi Chica, one of his former players.
Almost mystical, it focuses on the forces of the universe. He tells, for example, in a biography published in 2017 – Brave New World : Inside Pochettino’s Spurs – they place lemons on his desk to absorb negative energies. And the Argentine is very receptive “the aura “ of the people with whom he works.
Unlike some former great players who start directly to positions of prestige, his career is progressive. In the month of January 2013, he landed in the Premier League, a new time for a rescue operation, this time on the south coast of England. Has Southampton, it avoids first relegation to the Saints on a half-season before leading his team to eighth place the following season.
In June of last year, Pochettino had used his period of inactivity, despite many solicitations club – all rejected, to come back on this period and ensure that it is brilliantly self-promotion during an interview on LaLigaTV.
“The football in England has changed with our team in Southampton. No other team has had such an impact at the time to transform the way we see the game. We had a group of players who wanted to learn from our experience [à l’Espanyol Barcelone]. And they had the quality to put in place a style of play in which no one was accustomed to in England at that time. ”
Player character, Pochettino has often worn the captain’s armband, to Espanyol, but also during its second season in paris. In the monthly So Foot in 2016his former coach paris Luis Fernandez described the interest of the Argentine for his future career : “He liked to talk about tactics with me. Mauricio was always in the analysis, the discussion… to Work with a player like that, it is a pleasure. ”
“He makes you suffer like a dog. At the time, you hate like you never hated the person, but on Sunday, you thank him, because it works ” (Pablo Osvaldo)
But like many coaches in south american, it is his compatriot Marcelo Bielsa that inspired it. The two men crossed to the Newell”s Old Boys, in the selection argentina, and during the short draw of the “Professor” at Espanyol in 1998.
Pochettino fits in the category of technicians apostles of a quality game. Tactically, he is a follower of a pressing high up the field and a football energy for his players, who demand the repetition of racing at high intensity. Has So Footthe Italian-Argentine Pablo Osvaldo, who has seen Pochettino at Espanyol and at Southampton, spoke thus of its requirements : “He makes you suffer like a dog. At the time, you hate like you never hated the person, but on Sunday, you thank him, because it works. “
For this, he relies on a staff of the faithful : the Argentine Miguel D’agostino, French-speaking passed through the town of Niort or Perpignan during his career as a player, and the Spanish Toni Jiménez, a specialist in of the guards, and especially Jesus Perez, his number two at the world-class reputation. The trio should accompany him to Paris.
The sheriff has changed
Born of farming parents in Murphy, a small rural town (3500 inhabitants) of the province of Santa Fe, Mauricio Pochettino was forced into exile for his passion 150 km to the north-east, in the third largest metropolis in argentina : Rosario. It is within Newell’s Old Boys, the first club of Lionel Messi, he has been trained at football and became a professional at the end of the 1980s. It will be the time to meet another idol of football in argentina, Diego Maradona, who tried to relaunch just before the World in the United States.
At PSG, he will have to learn to deal with other stars in the behavior considered to be sometimes individualistic. Although the new coach paris has hatched the English striker Harry Kane at Tottenham, he had never had to manage great players during his past experiences. His first step will allow to verify if he softens his method, which is based on hard training sessions and frequent updates to the green before the meetings. As much revelry not be deemed to be to the taste of Neymar et al.
Nicknamed the sheriff for being authoritarian in his debut at Espanyol – he’s become less inflexible over the years, Mauricio Pochettino does not look frightened by the ego of the great footballers. “You would think that some coaches find it difficult, that he must be brave to take in hand such a workforce ? Me, I think quite the opposite “he explained in 2018 in Madrid, during a press conference.
The champions League will happen very quickly in the program of Mauricio Pochettino. From the 16 February and 10 march, in the fourth round of the final of the current edition, the PSG will meet again FC Barcelona. A first pitfall tricky to dodge to the argentinian coach, who only has six weeks to impose its paw before this appointment. And shape its workforce of the stars to his liking.